Sault Sainte Marie Station
208 Bingham Ave
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Phone: (906) 632-3383
Fax: (906) 632-4252
It is believed that the Sault Ste. Marie Station was first activated in July of 1924 in conjunction with the creation of the Border Patrol. The first complement consisted of four Patrol Inspectors and a Supervisory Patrol Inspector in Charge. The need for a station was closely associated with the mounting volume of alien smuggling. In the early days, the station had independent status as a sector under the jurisdiction of the former Montreal Immigration District headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Sometime before World War II, Sault Ste. Marie was changed to a station and organizationally assigned to the Detroit Border Patrol Sector.
During the 1930s and early 1940s, almost all of the spring and summer patrol operations were conducted from a 12-foot wooden flat-bottom boat powered by a 5-horsepower outboard motor. Hundreds of smugglers and illegal entrants were apprehended through the use of this boat, despite the disadvantages inherent in such a low powered craft. During most of this period, the station had one, and sometimes two, patrol cars. The station was located in the Federal building in downtown Sault Ste. Marie from its inception until 1963. For the next 40 years, the station was located in a temporary trailer at the Sault Sainte Marie Port of Entry. In 2003, the station moved from this small building at the International Bridge Plaza to the present location at 208 Bingham Avenue in Sault Sainte Marie.
Area of Responsibility
The station's area of responsibility is approximately 420 miles of international boundary between the United States and Canada, consisting of Lake Superior on the north and the St. Mary's River to the east. The station's area consists of the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan and 15 counties in the northern Lower Peninsula, and is predominantly rural. Sault Ste. Marie agents primarily conduct marine patrol on the St. Mary's River during the summer, and snowmobile patrol in the shoreline areas during the winter. They also patrol Interstate 75, which is the area's main route of egress from the border.